How To Manage Externally Shared Contents In SharePoint Online

Anonymous access to the SharePoint Online site has been removed for more than a year. Instead, Microsoft allows us to share the files or folders from SharePoint Online to external users. This configuration can be done in the Office 365 admin portal and SharePoint Online to enable or disable sharing.

In this blog, we are going to see how to view the files or folders shared outside of the organization. Microsoft introduced the Site Usage concept recently to view the analytics of files or folders usage in SharePoint site.

Follow the below steps to view the externally shared files,

  1. Log in to SharePoint Online site as an administrator of the site
  2. Navigate to Site Content pages from Gear button -> then click Site Contents from the menu

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  3. Click the Site Usage button in the command bar in the Site Contents page, to navigate to the Site usage page.

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    Note
    Site Usage page shows you analytics of the site like Site Visits, New Items, and Trending information.
  1. From the Site Usage page; click on Shared externally tab/nav button, which appears at the bottom of the page,

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Shared externally displays the list of folders and files shared with the external users. Here external users refers to the users, who don’t belong to the organization. We can also view the permissions applied to the shared file or folder from the same page.

The Shared externally page can also be accessed from the URL. Pasting the below URL in the browser bar navigates you to the page.

https://<tenant>.sharepoint.com/_layouts/15/siteanalytics.aspx?view=19

Follow the below steps to view the permission association for the file/folder.

  1. Select the item from the list of shared files and folder. (For ex., Here I have selected the .docx and clicking the three dots opens the context menu.)

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  2. From the context menu, click the View Permissions which opens the panel on the right side with the permissions associated with the selected file.

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    Anyone with this link can view this item. The people who all have the link can view this document without logging in to this SharePoint online site.
  1. By selecting Open from the context menu, it opens the document in a new window.

Follow the below steps to remove the external sharing to the file/folder

  1. To stop the external sharing for this item, click on Stop Sharing link at the top of the right panel.

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  2. In the opened alert modal dialog, click on Stop sharing button to remove all external access to the selected file.

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  3. The above action removes all external access to the selected file or folder and the item is removed from the Shared externally list.

Summary

SharePoint online enables anonymous access to the files and folders across the site by using the external share option. Here, we have learned how to manage the file or folder enabled with external access.


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